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“Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution”-
As I finally begin formally writing this I feel rested for the first time in days. Is it any coincidence that today is also the beginning of the ban of campaigning for barangay elections. I can not go to the bar for a drink but at least there are no loud jingles denying me rest. Great trade off. Proof that just because humanity can create the internal combustion engine as well as mobile amplifiers we can not necessarily assume the people that use them are civilized.
The dictionary defines noise as ” a sound, especially one that is loud or unpleasant or that causes disturbance”. I believe having lived here for a considerable amount of time that noise is a crucial component of pinoy society. It should also be noted that pinoys often disregard the practical utility of a dictionary and just assign their own meaning to English words.
I know elections are the bedrock of democracy and people died for our right our vote. Of course if that is true then why are very few concerned about the fact that Andy Bautista who had millions in undeclared funds in an obscure Laguna based thrift bank has gone missing. The Leni Robredo camp keep insisting that wet ballot boxes , indoor typhoons and partially shaded boxes are the norm. To them a missing Comelec head is also the norm since they never made any comment about him being as hard to find as Waldo.
I have three main points with this essay: 1) Noise is an essential ingredient in pinoy life. 2) the process of courting the public vote leaves little room for critical thinking. 3) points 2 & 3 are inseparable.
“We get paid for bringing value to the marketplace. “
I would like to think of myself as practical and that market forces dictate much of our reality. For example if you hate Justin Bieber , well there are enough people that like Justin Bieber to make him viable. Enough people buy his stuff and once went to his concerts. I will also note that one aspiring kagawad in my community plagiarized a Justin Bieber hit for his / her campaign jingle.
Think of me acting as Peter Quinn to Philippine society
Election campaigns thankfully are not a daily event or even an annual event. A daily occurrence in many Filipino residential areas are people who are devoid of any talent or superior product. What they lack in assets though they make up in gall, lack of manners/ humility, bellowing vocal chords and the
tolerance acceptance of a corresponding uncouth community. I am talking about taho/ balut vendors. They start as early as 6 AM on a Sunday morning and go as late 130 AM at night. The loudness of a taho vendor is actually in indirect proportion to the quality of his product. KSP is the root of all evil. Right away I know some of you will think I am heartless to a poor man trying to make an honest living. First of all there is this quote: ” Your Liberty To Swing Your Fist Ends Just Where My Nose Begins”. Translation we all live in a community. Be free and enjoy but do not INTRUDE on others who are free to live and enjoy. Some of you will mistake me as being snooty, negative and condescending. Let me remind you, Get Real Philippines is a positive website. ” Just think of me as a light on the headlands, a beacon steering you clear of the rocks.” Peter Quinn.
Another point, food vendors in this country are required to register, pay taxes and have their edible products subject to a certain community standard. So before all of you trace my IP address and proceed to plan my lynching since I expose this cornerstone of pinoy living, let me ask you ” It is quite likely that these people who disturb the peace likely avoid taxes and food regulation. They are above the law and disturb people who are trying to exist peacefully in their homes within earshot and you are mad at me??”. This whole mentality of being above registering what you have yet feeling entitled to your work for everybody to see is so … Sereno. What is more pinoy than laughing at the face of regulation , order, civility and organization? You are mad at me for pointing it out?
Like I said earlier the market place is reality. Reality is evident in many things in our lives. Avengers Infinity Wars, Iphones , Chicken Joy and Ann Curtis concerts are all there because enough people will pay to consume them. Another example of that reality is the convenience store. You are likely very close to one that is always open and it will satisfy your urge at anytime for food and drink. They are not obnoxious and they pay their taxes. Supporting them, supports honest business organizations who in turn pay taxes that go into our roads, schools and public services. Convenient stores are named because they are smaller and closer than supermarkets. Not hearing losers yell at 2AM is a convenience. I just wished convenience stores would give the added convenience of eliminating the existence of the obnoxious vendors. Where is Thanos when you need him? I have never once sat in my home and cursed the existence of a 7-11 or a Mini Stop.
The obnoxious taho/ balut vendor who does not care when you sleep is the antithesis of this. I got news for you, we are the reason why they exist. Whenever you fork out your hard earned after tax money, you are rewarding the recipient. You are telling them keep doing what you are doing. If enough of you do that, you will encourage more of whatever behavior the provider does. The key to a business ( and real estate) as the cliche goes is location, location, location. Since I can’t afford a location , I will just be a man about town with the Helen Reddy approach. I am woman hear me roar. I could care less about violating your home with my yelling There are likely unenforced noise ordinances that allow these people to be conspicuously revolting on a regular basis. The theme of many of my essays are that the standards in the Philippines are low and we have no aspirations of leveling up.
Many are surprised that I work Sundays. I chose an industry that has customers willing to pay for my services on a Sunday so that is on me. The marketplace is reality. I live in reality. On a few occasions, I would run across the same man with his young son, camped on the same business that would be closed on a Sunday with hand outstretched. I did not give a cent knowing full well I am rewarding his behavior. If I gave him a hundred pesos every Sunday then there will 2, 3, 4 or more people on our block every Sunday. Here I am working on a Sunday , I really should not be encouraging the presence of beggars outside my office because I will be rewarding the act of begging , their presence and discouraging their motivation to work. In my world begging does not equal working. A simple standard if something is right or wrong just ask the effect on society if everybody did that action. You can’t have every cyclist, riding on the sidewalk and you can’t have everybody yelling anytime and anywhere.
If you have empathy for beggars and want to help and reward then donate to a quality charity that is staffed with people who care and want to help. Organizations that are transparent and make you feel good. Reward them with your time, money and effort. I won’t bother listing names, you will know.
Despite laying out my points in an organized fashion many will still push back and I am used to that. None of them will answer the question if it’s ok for anybody and everybody to yell as loud as they can anytime and anywhere . None of them will seem insulted that I implied the pinoy culture is barbaric. Then again because you all know the answer anyway. If I feel entitled to anything it’s manners and consideration . But if the pinoy can’t provide that I feel it’s a loss yet pinoys all feel like it’s a birthright . We have no talent other than the fact we are so KSP that it overrides our sense of inhibition. We are so kapal. That is our talent .
A fair question is do I ever reward loud, obnoxious street vendors who do not care how late or early it is to be yelling at the top of their lungs? The answer is yes. Not with sales but with sage contructive criticism. I told the late night boisterous balut vendor in the vernacular I thought he was noisy, obnoxious, piglike , rude and ignorant. His response? Well you know what they say “Genius is never understood in its own time.”
In a perfect world, voters would take the time to research what each candidate stood for on issues that involve their community. The candidates would be able to inform what experience they have and what hardships they have overcome in their lives and how the community can benefit from this experience. The voters will have every chance to vet the candidates and their claims. Unfortunately we live in the Philippines and the substitute for all this painstaking process is vehicles that roam the community adding to air pollution, noise pollution and obstructing already crowded streets.
Mark Twain once said ” “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” In my first point I basically said baduy people sell a baduy product to other baduy people using baduy methods. With my current point we have baduy politicians get baduy voters to vote for them using baduy methods. Of course the voters are always rewarded with baduy results for the next six years. It is a perpetual cycle of baduyness. Other places the saying is “trust the process”. In the Philippines it is ” Trust the process to be baduy”
You know why companies utilize telemarketing? The same reason why balut vendors shout like their pants are fully stuffed with termites. The same reason why politicians believe you do not deserve peace and quiet when they need your vote. They do it because it works. Look at the national level. Vote for me because my wife is a mega star. Vote for me because I was the OJT of my dad. Vote for me because my mom died. They do it because it WORKS! In the Philippines loud but dumb is still dumb . Loud but dumb works.
You never have to ask a person what is important to them. Our actions speak loud enough. Pinoys do not value rationality, tranquility and order. Who needs to think and consider when all that is necessary to be elected are cars that blast noise to unwilling residents? What does that have to do with running a municipality? Order is something you do at Jollibee.
We are not a society of winners, look at the losers who “win” our elections. Not the competent and the intellectual but the baduy , the bobo, the baboy, the entitled and the slimy. You may of course disagree with me. By disagreeing with me you are saying yes to chaos, mayhem, anarchy and Bam Aquino.
Putting a very sharp needle into the balloon known as Pinoy Pride since 2012.